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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vacation, beaches, Waterfire and family!

     So it has been awhile since I have posted.  I have many good things to report which is sooo nice to be able to share.  Best of all, my reason for not posting for so long is that I have been on VACATION at my brothers home in RI.  We went to the beach, biked a bit, shopped a lot, ate too much and laughed and smiled and talked and talked.  We even went to a wonderful zoo that I had not been to in over 20 years and they had a carousel that I just had to ride!
     Two of my sons were able to join us this trip for part of the vacation as did a good friend from home.  My dad was up from Florida for the entire trip and my husband was there for several days after visiting with his mom and sisters in TN.  We had our beach days which are by far my favorite!
     It was just so restorative to have that time together to relax.  I had the chance to spend a lot of time on the beach which for me is like a tonic!  The sound of the surf, the smell of the salt air, the warm sand between my toes and the cool water washing over me just equates with serenity for me.
     Add my Kindle, a diet pepsi, a beach chair and I am all set.  I am convinced I was a beach bum in a previous life!  Every time I set foot on a beach I am transported to place where cares disappear, pain is erased, my mind is clear and calm and I don't have a care in the world.
     There is nothing more enjoyable to me then sitting on a beach chair, toes wedged in the sand, book in hand, surf loudly crashing and gulls singing in the background as I read....everything else disappears, including RA and joint pain and decisions associated with its management...if only for those few hours spent in this place of peace and beauty.
     Another fun event we attended while in RI was something called Waterfire which is tough to fully explain but suffice it to say that in the man-made canal that runs through the city of Providence, pots of wood are arranged and at dusk they are lit, music surrounds the city, vendors and entertainment are everywhere. We love to attend this at least once a year.  Check out this website to learn more and if you are there in the summer they have it every other weekend! 
    It is truly a marvel and remarkably easy to get into and out of the city which is such a nice change from the traffic that one often has to deal with in cities where major events are held.
     Back to health related numb face is healing at last and so I would say that I now have about 60-70% of the feeling back so that is great news!  Also, my RA seems to be in a somewhat quiet (SHHH or it will hear us) state at the moment thanks (I hope) to the new medicine, Simponi, which I started last month.  
On my first day back from vacation I gave myself the second shot with some help from my son, Reilly.  For some odd reason I was a bit nervous (not at all sure why since I gave myself injections for 5 years with Humira prior to Remicade and the infusion procedure) but he was there to keep me calm and so it went fine.  I really love the autoinjector device that we use now!  What a breeze.  And for the second time I literally felt nothing!  
     If not for the dot of blood on my leg and the yellow indicator on the device I would doubt I had injected properly.  Such a nice change from the old fashioned syringes.  I am still on the corticosteriod (4mg) which I will probably remain on for at least 3 to 6 months till we see if Simponi will work...fingers crossed - thanks Reilly for crossing so many limbs on my behalf as we rode home to Rutland the other day :) I am sure it will effect the outcome!  
     The very best and hottest news from my perspective is that  I am not too stiff from all of the changes and driving and packing and unpacking, etc. which is a nice surprise.  My family was so wonderful to me this trip, helping at every turn when I was not too stubborn to accept and my brother cooked, entertained and generally hosted us all to the point I felt like a queen!  He is the best brother on the face of the earth and I am blessed to have him close enough that we can be together often. 
That is him on the far right next to my son, Brian, his Godson.  My Dad was with us this trip too, up from Florida and at 85 he is far more agile than me, playing tennis every day he can get someone to join him!
The man is a marvel.  He seems to go backwards in the aging process!  I hope I am even slightly that lucky.  This year he was here for two weeks so we had a nice, long visit and lots of time to spend together. I am home and back to work and feeling stronger and refreshed and ready to get back into the day to day management of RA and life in general.  The take away from this post is this - It is simply amazing how much you can gain from some time away....It need not be a formal vacation but even just a day or two away from the routine provides a fresh perspective that is critical to the day to day coping needs we have with a chronic disease like RA.  
By taking the "bull by the horns" we are taking charge of our own disease management and that goes so far in keeping our heads on straight, our minds clear and our goal of successful management not only possible but completely attainable.  I remain a firm believer that not only does a positive attitude contribute significantly to the successful management of RA but is a key to truly thriving not just surviving with RA.


Debbie said...

Wow Nan!!!

That was really great!!!

Thanks for sharing your special time with all of us!!

Debbie Boyer, Phx, Az

Fred Richenderfer said...

Sharing one's experience can inspire others to move beyond their daily routine and try something that they would not have tried. I think this blog could do just that since it is so well written and visual in nature. Nice, very nice.

Cathy said...

Nan, you look absolutely full of good health! Good for you for enjoying your vacation and your family.

Thrive With RA said...

Welcome Back Nan! Now you know why I've only lived in one place in my life that wasn't near the ocean, and only for a short time. The sea is absolute therapy! I wrote one post about it recently, I think while you were gone, called, "Isn't Life Beachy?"

You look great and your family looks great. Your Dad reminds me of my Dad. He enjoys tennis still and beat me even before RA. I figure if I inherited his genes for longevity and stamina I just might live a really good, really long life, even with RA.

You didn't by chance go to Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, did you? I took my boys there a few times and rode the carousel; the last time was when I was pregnant with my youngest son when we lived in MA. I'll never forget, I had about 3 different people there on one visit stop me and ask if all three of my boys were mine, then asked me what I was having for my next baby (who was in my belly still), then said, "God bless you!" My response: He certainly has! :)

Glad you are recharged, refreshed and rejuvenated!

deb aka murphthesurf said...

Loved the vacation pics! I could hear the ocean waves and feel that ocean breeze. Vacations are truly the best! Thank you for sharing. You gave me a mini-vaca of my own. Oh, and of course, WAHOOOO that the new med is working!

Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed your visit to RI. It's a great place and I love living here. I enjoyed your photos!!! Please be sure to come again!! We love visitors.

DAD said...

undoroAs usual, I enjoyed every minute of my visit With the two best young-uns in the world. ( at 85 I can call you two that) I enjoyed myself 110% and look forward to repeating it again. Take care, and I hope the new medication works wonders. DAD

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing!